Weather Station at Osgood Point; Defibrillators in Patrol Cars

Five resolutions were on the agenda at the Gulfport City Council meeting this past Tuesday, April 21.

First up was the issue of providing a budget adjustment for an emergency waterline replacement. City Manager O’Reilly described the scenario as such: “This is an emergency repair to a water line that services the condominium complex located on 17th Avenue.” The broken water line in question runs under Gulfport Boulevard. Mayor Henderson briefly addressed the issue by saying, “We have a water line broken, we need to fix it,” before the resolution was passed unanimously.

Council also took another step toward installing a weather station in Gulfport by entering into a site-use agreement with Weatherflow Inc. The planned site for the station will be at Osgood Point, next to the city’s Coast Guard Auxiliary Building. Weatherflow Inc. will be responsible for the weather station’s installation, labor, materials and any other expense related to the performance of the station. The site agreement is for four years and comes with an additional four-year option that can be picked up by Weatherflow Inc. by merely not opting out of the contract after the first four-year period. The primary goal for the new weather station is to better capture extreme wind events and all the data that comes with them.

Council implemented an authorization to use contraband forfeiture trust funds to purchase new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for police patrol cars at Tuesday’s meeting as well. The cost for the defibrillators is approximately $19,000. This expense will equip every Gulfport police patrol car with an up-to-date AED. The price tag represents over half of the current contraband forfeiture trust fund, which comes in at $32,525, and increases by “$5,000 to $15,000 per year,” according to council’s agenda memorandum on the issue.

Finally, council passed a resolution to make the Gulfport Casino available to the city’s Chamber of Commerce for three hours, free of charge, so they can host a visit from Cassius Butts, the Region IV Administrator for the US Small Business Administration (SBA). The invitation to have Butts visit the city came from Shahra Anderson, the Regional Director for US Senator Bill Nelson. The normal rental fee for the casino is $242. All members of council, with the exception of Ward 1 Councilmember Dan Liedtke, voted in favor of waiving the fee.

“We have a minimum fee of $242 dollars that covers the maintenance of the casino,” said Councilmember Liedtke. “The United States Small Business Administration has annually a total budgetary resource of 10 billion dollars… Three billion of that is just for staffing and operations. I’m pretty sure they can afford $242 to host this venue.”

The next Gulfport City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5.

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